Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXIII, No. 45
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
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(Photo by Stephen Goldsmith)

NET WORTH: Princeton High boys’ soccer star Paul Ehrenworth controls the ball last Friday in PHS’s 2-0 win over Nottingham in the NJSIAA Central Jersey Group III sectional quarterfinals. Junior midfielder Ehrenworth had an assist on the Little Tigers’ second goal as they improved to 17-0-4 on the season. Last Tuesday, PHS topped fourth-seeded Wall 1-0 in the sectional semifinal. The Little Tigers will now host No. 2 Freehold in the title game on November 13.

With Midfielder Ehrenworth at Full Speed PHS Boys’ Soccer Making Noise in States

Bill Alden

Paul Ehrenworth wasn’t himself earlier this season for the Princeton High boys’ soccer team.

“I sprained my ankle pretty bad towards the beginning of the season,” said Ehrenworth. “I wasn’t really healthy until three weeks ago so now I can finally play a bigger role on the team and help us.”

In the last week, Ehrenworth has given PHS a lot of help as it has gotten into the thick of tournament season.

On Halloween night in the Mercer County Tournament championship game against WW/P-S, Ehrenworth slotted in a first half goal to give PHS an early lead as it went on to a 2-1 win and its third MCT title in a row.

Two days later, Ehrenworth produced a brilliant second half strike that proved to be the only goal as top-seeded PHS edged No. 16 Neptune 1-0 in the opening round of the NJSIAA Central Jersey Group III sectional.

Last Friday, with PHS clinging to a tenuous 1-0 second half lead over ninth-seeded Nottingham in the sectional quarters, Ehrenworth helped the Little Tigers get an insurance goal as he lobbed a free kick that was banged into the back of the net by John Marsh.

In reflecting on that score which ended up giving PHS the margin of victory in a 2-0 triumph as it improved to 17-04 on the season, Ehrenworth said it was the product of some hard work in practice.

“We have a group of guys, mostly our backs including John, and we practice set pieces everyday,” said Ehrenworth. “We have just been working to get one of those and it finally happened.”

Ehrenworth acknowledged that underdog Nottingham gave PHS some trouble.

“They just had an upset the other day so we knew they were going to come out strong and we just had to deal with it,” said Ehrenworth.

“We score our goals off of just moving the ball around. We really couldn’t get most of the possession in the first half between our midfielders and forwards. Without that, we didn’t really have any good opportunities today.”

Having played in a number of tight games, Ehrenworth and his teammates didn’t get fazed as the Northstars hung tough.

“We have had so many close games this season and the defense has kept us in all the games,” said Ehrenworth.

“With Steve [goalie Steve Hellstern] and our whole back line, they haven’t given up many goals at all this season so we are always confident with them.”

Last Tuesday, PHS topped fourth-seeded Wall 1-0 in the sectional semifinal. The Little Tigers will now host No. 2 Freehold in the title game on November 13.

Ehrenworth is looking to keep going at full throttle.

“I don’t want us to lose; I don’t want to stop playing so I just have to keep playing 100 percent,” said Ehrenworth.

“I just try to make everybody better on the field. As long as we keep playing together and keep playing our game, we shouldn’t lose.”

PHS head coach Wayne Sutcliffe is enjoying seeing Ehrenworth get his game into shape.

“Paul fought through an injury at midseason and he is trying to find a way for himself to better his percentages when he has the ball,” said Sutcliffe.

“He is trying to find a way to be a little bit more of a threat in and around the goal. He had a great assist today and he had a great goal last Saturday night, so he is contributing. We need it.”

In the win over Nottingham, PHS got the solid start they needed as Gustavo Vega opened the scoring with a goal 18 minutes into the contest.

“He hasn’t scored since the PDS game; that was a timely goal,” said Sutcliffe. “He was on top of it. He did a great job to get on it and bury it.”

As usual, the Little Tigers got another great game from goalie Hellstern, who now has 15 shutouts on the season.

“Stephen was tested, no doubt,” said Sutcliffe of Hellstern who had 11 saves on the afternoon. “He did well to handle those couple of close ones. You can’t put a value on him. He works so hard and is so talented.”

In remaining undefeated through 21 games, PHS has shown a talent for finding different ways to win.

“I think our guys believe that they can find a way to win under any circumstances, whether it be in overtime, a shootout, regulation, warm weather, cold weather, rain, turf, bad grass, or injury,” maintained Sutcliffe.

Ehrenworth, for his part, believes PHS can make a special mark this fall. “We want to make our own legacy,” asserted Ehrenworth.

“In the past years, all the teams have won the MCTs. We want to keep going through the sectionals and hopefully all the way.”

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